Olympiakos takes over at top with one round remaining

Pantelis Kaffes, Yiannis Okkas and Nery Castillo scored in the second half as Olympiakos beat Panionios 3-0 yesterday to go atop the Greek first division. With one round to play, Olympiakos has 62 points, one ahead of defending champion Panathinaikos. AEK is third with 59. In the round’s crucial game, Panathinaikos and AEK fought to a scoreless draw. Hundreds of Olympiakos fans celebrated on the pitch in Piraeus when that result was announced. The 30th and final round is scheduled for May 25. Olympiakos faces Iraklis in Thessaloniki, Panathinaikos plays OFI in Crete, while AEK hosts Apollon. In other games yesterday, it was: Xanthi 1, Kallithea 0; Ionikos 0, OFI 0; Apollon Kalamaria 2, PAOK 1 and Aegaleo 2, Halkidona 1. Aris was losing 2-1 to visitor Iraklis when the referee interrupted the game after Aris fans stormed the pitch in the 42nd minute. [Authorities decided to forfeit the match and send the case to a sports tribunal.] Ergotelis and Kerkyra, both now relegated, drew 1-1 Saturday. Despite both AEK and Panathinaikos needing a win, the game was dominated by poor finishing and scrappy play. In the 11th minute, Panathinaikos goalkeeper Mario Galinovic used his right foot to save a close-range shot from AEK’s Alexandre Soares. In the game’s best attempt, Cypriot striker Michalis Constantinou’s angled lob in the 38th hit the bar and then the post. Playing before 25,000 fans, Olympiakos came close in the 11th when a blistering shot by Yiannis Taralidis sailed over goalkeeper Foto Strakosha’s goal. Panionios, without five key players mostly due to injuries, played defensively throughout. Olympiakos, which plays Aris in the Greek Cup Final on May 21, dominated the second half and took a deserved lead in the 55th. Okkas shook off two defenders inside the 6-yard box before releasing the ball into the path of Kaffes, who shot home a well-struck low shot. The two players starred in reversing roles in the 66th when Okkas shot in a cross from Kaffes for a 2-0 lead. In the 71st, Rivaldo’s shot was stopped by the keeper but substitute Castillo fired in the loose ball. (AP)